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Italian word for semisweet. It has the same meaning as “amabile”.
French word for trellising.
The main aldehyde found in wines. It is a unique and pleasing element of Sherry wines (Spain). However, if found in significant amounts in table wines, it is considered to be a flaw.
All wines contain small quantities of Acetic Acid. It’s only when this substance is present in larger quantities (above the sensory threshold) that it impairs a vinegary taste and aroma to the wine.
A substance with a pH of less than 7. It has a sour taste and forms a salt if mixed with a base. In wine, it is one of the main structural elements. It comes from the grapes, even though in some cases acid can be added by the winemaker. The two main acids found in grapes are tartaric and malic (about 90%), but some other acids, such as lactic (derived from the malolactic fermentation), are found in wine as well.
A wine that expresses excess of acidity. A good wine needs acidity to be balanced, but when it passes the point where it is felt as “sharp” or “crisp” (both positive tasting notes), it is felt as “sour” or “tart” (both negative tasting notes).
A process used in warm wine regions to increase the acidity (lower the pH) of the must. Harvesting a portion of the crop before full maturity or using grapes from a secondary flowering can provide natural acidification; as well as blending with other must (high acidity and low pH) is the best natural and elegant method of acidification, whenever is possible. Several acids can be used in the process, but Tartaric acid is the most used acid for acidity correction (but it will lower the initial pH). If high pH is the major problem of the must, the addition of tartaric acid and precipitating its surplus potassium by cold stabilization will improve the pH value of the wine considerably. Malic acid, which is less acidic than tartaric acid, may be transformed into lactic acid by MLF (malolactic fermentation). Therefore, its use may not be as efficient. Citric acid can be added to expand the acid taste and to prevent possible iron haze. However, during MLF, it may be partially converted into acetic acid. So, addition of citric acid can be done safely only when MLF is inhibited. The main problem with fumaric acid is its low solubility in water or water/alcohol solutions. Besides that, it has some harsh taste and its addition should be done with care.
A white wine grape that was created by viticulturalist Peter Morio. He crossed a Silvaner x Riesling cross with Müller-Thurgau. Also, the Roman name of the Greek wine god Dionysus.
A negative tasting term for wines that have either oxidized or that spent time in a high temperature environment. They taste as if they came from overripe grapes.
Great wines have to be balanced in order to be great. Balance is an impression of harmony between the components of a wine’s – acid, sugar, tannin and alcohol content.
A negative tasting descriptor for a dirty aroma that is present in the wine. In most cases the origin of the problem is related to Brettanomyces (Brett for short).
Wines placed into wooden (oak) barrels for maturation.
French for the process of stirring the wine after fermentation to keep the solid particles in suspension.
Is one of the major red grape varieties of the world.
Arguably the world’s most famous grape variety.
Involves all the processes used in the maintenance of the leaf canopy of a vine, such as pruning, trimming, leaf removal, shoot positioning, trellises and vine spacing. It helps to increase exposure of foliage to the sun (which improves photosynthesis and reduces moisture in the grapes, helping to minimize the risk of rot).
A small barrel used in Tuscany (Italy) to age Vin Santo. It is usually made of chestnut trees.
A chemical compound composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms (CO2). It is an end product in organisms that obtain energy from breaking down sugars, fats and amino acids with oxygen as part of their metabolism in a process known as cellular respiration.
A winemaking process in which whole grapes (intact skins) are fermented without being crushed in a fermentation tank that can be filled with carbon dioxide (if “true” Carbonic Maceration is desired). This is intracellular fermentation, and takes place in the absence of yeast. The most famous wine produced by this process is Beaujolais Nouveau.
French word for settling.
French word for bud-break.
A positive tasting descriptor for a wine that displays lots of fruit, with a huge bouquet and a plump, luxurious texture can be said to be decadent.
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a holding vessel (a decanter) to separate the sediment from the wine.
French word for devatting.
A wine that is made from grapes that are picked early, when their acids are still high and their sugar content low.
German for botrytis.
French word for leaf removal. A technique that improves the exposure of the grapes to the sun.
French word for de-stemming. The removal of stems (stalks) from the bunches before fermentation.
German for single vineyard.
German for ice wine. A dessert wine that is made from frozen, overripe grapes.
A pathogenic virus of the family Comoviridae that causes degeneration in the vine. The leaves turn yellow and the yields are reduced drastically. The life of the vine is also reduced.
A large wine estate in Italian.
A positive tasting term for wines that present elegance, charm and refinement; rather than power, muscle and weight (the characterization of a “masculine wine”).
The technique of applying liquid fertilizers through an irrigation system. It makes the nutrients immediately available to the vines, which can very quickly improve any deficient levels in the vines.
A Portuguese red wine that has been aged for at least three years (two years in barrels and one year in bottles). If it is a white wine then the period is considerably shorter (six months in barrels and six months in bottles).
The aromas found in a wine that resemble those of spices (rosemary, marjoram) and flowers (lavender) from southern France.
A protein produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the bones and skins of animals. It is applied to reduce astringency, some bitterness, and polymeric anthocyanins in red wines (being more effective on aged red wines than on young ones). It is very useful in reducing the harshness of pressed wine. Some care is needed so as to not strip all the wine flavor and character by over-fining. Gelatin can also clear cloudy wines that are difficult to clear with bentonite and is effective in reducing bitter after-taste in white wines.
Italian word for generous. Used mainly to describe wines with a high level of alcohol.
The training system in which the vine canopy is divided in two curtains. Both trained to grow downward from high cordons.
The vector (an insect) for the spreading of Pierce’s Disease.
German for half-dry.